ERP in the African Market – Your Questions Answered

After more than 17 years in the South African and African markets, providing advanced technology solutions, SEIDOR in Africa bolsters its reputation as a leading SAP Business One Reseller in Africa with an exciting new corporate rebrand.

The revamped identity marks a new era for the company and reflects SEIDOR’s award winning services and support it offers to growing organisations, without forgetting the original DNA of the company, its vision, or principles.

“SEIDOR’s new positioning of “Human focused, technology experts” mirrors the delivery of the long-term value offered to customers, suppliers, and partners,” says Darren De Vries SADC Channel Partner Manager | SEIDOR.

De Vries gives an update of the ERP market in Africa by answering 4 frequently asked questions:

1. What are the biggest hurdles for African businesses when it comes to using ERP?

We prefer to not look at the hurdles but rather focus on the key success points:

  • Firstly, and probably most critical to the success of the project, is top-down commitment from the directors to the department heads and process owners. A steering committee should be established to keep these key stakeholders regularly informed as to the status of the project.
  • The ERP vendor will include aspects of change management during the implementation process such as super-user testing and end user training but customers are strongly advised to drive their own change management program focusing on how the project will support the business to meet its current requirements and future objectives.
  • Customers should be open to a phased approach around the implementation of an ERP solution. It is not feasible in terms of time, sound integration, and costs to address all requirements immediately. Prioritise the most important issues and “low hanging fruits” with the aim of creating a core platform which will form the foundation for future projects and communicated in a roadmap document.
  • A key consideration for those considering an ERP solution is cost transparency. Buried costs for hardware and hosting in complicated quotes can be a big headache for the owners so SEIDOR Africa has focused on comprehensive and complete offerings that are clear, avoid confusing tech jargon and also refer to the underlying infrastructure needed for a successful ERP system.

By way of example, with cloud implementations, cloud providers need to be reliable, and we need to work closely with them.

Through trial and error, we have carefully chosen the best and most reliable cloud providers who can offer customers a solid underlying infrastructure for their ERP system.

SEIDOR Africa has made our partnerships with infrastructure providers equally as important as the relationship with SAP and our clients and this mitigates many potential problems.

2. What key business trends should CIOs be looking out for in the ERP space?

Taking technology out of the equation and focusing on purely business benefits, CIOs should investigate extending ERP beyond the back office by granting ERP access to additional, internal users, e.g. sales, service and warehouse users.

Furthermore, integration with external customer, supplier and business partner systems will provide tangible benefits.

A business intelligence platform providing real-time reporting and analytical capabilities should also be a serious consideration.

3. Is cloud ERP the future of ERP technology?

Very much so. Cloud ERP is especially attractive to small and midsize companies because it provides an operational investment option, faster deployment and allows them to focus on their core business while outsourcing IT functions to ERP vendors.

4. What ERP technologies will be most sought in 2022?

The short answer is an ERP solution with rapid return on investment, that is scalable, dependable, and already best of breed is what will be most sought in 2022.

Customers in 2022 are more interested in business benefits than the supporting technology. What will be most important when evaluating ERP vendors:

  • Automation and optimisation – business process automation (BPA) and Machine Learning (ML)
  • Cloud and mobility – for flexible deployment and procurement options and the ability to extend the user base beyond traditional back-office users
  • Extensibility and integration – the ability to extend functionality without bespoke development effort as well as integration capabilities with other systems
  • Internet of Things (IoT) – whether the option exists to include data generated by smart assets and devices into the core ERP.

This article first appeared on BUSINESSTECH.